What Are Content Recommendation Widgets?
Native advertising trends and statistics is one of the fastest-growing digital forms of advertising today, with Business Insider reporting spending on native ads will soar to almost $8 billion this year, up from $4.7 billion in 2013; and will grow to $21 billion by 2018. A 2013 study by IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough, measuring nearly 5,000 participants’ behavior and perceptions towards native ads utilizing eye-tracking technology and surveys, found native ads are looked at more than 50 percent more frequently than banner ads.
John Lemp, CEO of content recommendation widget creator Revcontent, calls content recommendation the future of native advertising. It’s a revenue strategy that has already been embraced by websites across the country, from businesses such as Forbes to The New York Times.
Content recommendation widgets may feature articles, videos, photo slideshows, products, and more, which either keep users on the host site or lead them to content on a new site. Recommendation widgets:
- Blend in seamlessly with the rest of the site’s content
- May contain content from the host site or from outside advertisers’ sites
- Contain content site users are likely to be interested in and not regard as spam or advertisements
- Feature a message that encourages a click-through to the content, such as, “You might also like…”
Businesses may focus their content recommendation strategy on creating widgets on their own site, or marketing their content through other sites. Here are some important factors when considering content recommendation widgets as a native advertising tool.
What Are the Benefits of Content Recommendation Widgets?
Content recommendation widgets provide several benefits for a wide variety of businesses. These include:
- Improved traffic for the host site. Not only can the host site promote content from their own site in widgets, leading to increased page views, the widgets also can contribute to increased time spent on site and purchases made on the site.
- Increased revenue for the host site from advertisers. By opening up the widget content opportunities to other sites, the host site may create an additional revenue stream. This requires no additional content creation by the host site.
- Increased referrals through social engagement. Social sharing by new users of the host site’s content can lead to new visitors from un-targeted channels.
All of these benefits are easily measured through a Web analytics tool, so businesses may adjust their recommended content strategy at any time.
What Are the Types of Content Recommendation Widgets?
Businesses have much freedom when creating content widgets, so they can tailor them to their audience’s needs. Content can consist of:
- New content that directly relates to the content the user is already interacting with
- Trending content based on what’s popular throughout the entire site
- Content that relates to the user based on off-site data
With so many personalized options for businesses to employ when creating their recommendation widgets, endorsed content is an exciting aspect to any native advertising strategy.
How to Create Successful Recommendation Widgets
Fostering a successful content recommendation strategy transcends adding widgets to a site and hoping people click. John Lemp outlines several ways for businesses to maximize the use of their recommendation widgets:
Only feature high-quality content. Businesses will want to ensure the widget content relates to what is already on the site and of interest to their users. This includes not only focusing on appropriate topics, but also selecting sites that feature original content, that are high-functioning, and that are up to the business’ design standards.
Make the widgets easy to use. Make the content consumption process easy by taking users straight to the content, creating widgets that work with a single click, and featuring interfaces the users are familiar with. Businesses should strive to make content recommendation widgets fun, simple to use, and that motivate users to return for more.
Upgrade technology accordingly. It’s vital for businesses to stay up-to-date with trends relating to content recommendation widgets so that they stay competitive and deliver the best user experience for their visitors. Innovations include the ability for content recommendation widgets to present relevant content based on users’ browsing history and online purchases. Using a content recommendation design and technology provider, such as John Lemp’s Revcontent, keeps content delivery current and painless.
Test, measure, refine, repeat. A content recommendation strategy should be fluid and malleable, evolving based on customer response and available content. Businesses should delve into analytics to tailor content based on click-through rate, time spent on page, referrals, and purchases.